The Wild Book
The Wild Book
By Juan Villoro
Translated from the Spanish by Lawrence Schimel
Over one million copies sold in the Spanish edition
From one of Mexico’s foremost authors comes a wondrous adventure story of a boy who goes to live with his kooky, book-obsessed uncle in a library where books have a supernatural power all their own.
Hardcover List Price: $17.99 • ISBN: 9781632061478 • Publication: 10/17/2017 • 5.5” x 8.25” • 240 pages • Middle Grade Fiction—Books & Libraries • Ages: 10–14 • Territory: World English • eBook ISBN: 9781632061485
About the Book
"We walked toward the part of the library where the air smelled as if it had been interred for years….. Finally, we got to the hallway where the wooden floor was the creakiest, and we sensed a strange whiff of excitement and fear. It smelled like a creature from a bygone time. It smelled like a dragon."
Thirteen-year-old Juan’s favorite things in the world are koalas, eating roast chicken, and the summer-time. This summer, though, is off to a terrible start. First, Juan’s parents separate and his dad goes to Paris. Then, as if that wasn’t horrible enough, Juan is sent away to his strange Uncle Tito’s house for the entire break! Uncle Tito is really odd: he has zigzag eyebrows; drinks ten cups of smoky tea a day; and lives inside a huge, mysterious library.
One day, while Juan is exploring the library, he notices something inexplicable and rushes to tell Uncle Tito. “The books moved!” His uncle drinks all his tea in one gulp and, sputtering, lets his nephew in on a secret: Juan is a Princeps Reader––which means books respond magically to him––and he’s the only person capable of finding the elusive, never-before-read Wild Book.
Juan teams up with his new friend Catalina and his little sister, and together they delve through books that scuttle from one shelf to the next, topple over unexpectedly, or even disappear altogether to find The Wild Book and discover its secret. But will they find it before the wicked, story-stealing Pirate Book does?
“Whoever reads it will enjoy it, regardless of their age.… The Wild Book shows how the world of books turns out to be the greatest of salvations… reminding us that even in the most complicated situations, there will always be light along the road.… Excellent.”
—Los Mil Libros
“One of those joys of Mexican literature… The Wild Book is as an excellent a read for the first-time reader as for the Princeps Reader, who, according to Uncle Tío, ‘isn't someone who reads more books but a person who finds more in what they do read.’ ”
—Perla Holguín, Más Cultura
“I devoured it… almost without breathing. How wonderful!”
“I loved it, although that word doesn’t express how much I liked it and how much I recommend it to everyone.… It is without a doubt a spectacular book that everyone who loves books should read, a fusion of fantasy and realism that is quite easy to read.… Five stars.”
—María Fernanda, Memorías de una Lectora
“One of my favorite books, one that has a life of its own… This is an ideal book for someone who may not have a taste for reading just yet. It doesn’t matter if they’re a child, adolescent, or adult. The Wild Book is a story for initiating them into the maze of books and getting them enthusiastic about this unending habit. Yes, it’s for everyone!”
About the Author
Juan Villoro is Mexico’s most prolific, prize-winning author, playwright, journalist, and screenwriter. His books have been translated into multiple languages. Several of his books have appeared in English, including his celebrated 2016 essay collection on soccer brought out by Restless Books, God Is Round. Villoro lives in Mexico City and is a visiting lecturer at Yale and Princeton universities.
About the Translator
Lawrence Schimel (New York, 1971) is a full-time author, writing in both Spanish and English, who has published over one hundred books in a wide range of genres. He is also a prolific literary translator. His picture books have been selected for the White Ravens from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany and have twice been chosen for IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, among many other awards, honors, and Distinctions. His work has been published in Basque, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian translations. He started the Spain chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators and served as its Regional Advisor for five years. He also coordinated the International SCBWI Conference in Madrid and the first two SCBWI-Bologna Book Fair conferences. He lives in Madrid, Spain and New York City.